c.1916 Emblem 820cc Model 106 Lightweight Twin Frame no. 1806106
* Rare early American motorcycle * Long-term ownership in Sweden * Restored condition
William G 'Billy' Shack's Emblem Manufacturing Company of Angola (near Buffalo), New York, built motorcycles from 1907 until 1925 having been engaged in bicycle manufacture since 1894. The first motorcycle was built and advertised in May 1907 and by 1911 the range had expanded to include 4hp and 5hp singles, a 7hp v-twin and two racers. A choice of v-belt or flat-belt drive was offered on some v-twin models. All models were fitted with automatic (atmospheric) inlet valves and the standard colour was carmine red with options of either grey or black. Emblem is notable for introducing a 76.6ci (1,255cc) v-twin in 1913 - making it the largest-capacity twin on the market at that time - several years before Indian and Harley-Davidson followed suit with twins of more than 61ci (1,000cc). Mechanical inlet-over-exhaust (F-head) valve gear was a feature of these later models. Faced with the serious downturn in the motorcycles sales, caused by the increasing availability of cheap cars, Schack turned to overseas markets, concluding deals with the UK, Scandinavia, China and Japan.
The machine offered here is an example of the medium size twin-cylinder model that would constitute the bulk of Emblem's later production. Announced in September 1915 for the 1916 model year and priced at $175, the Model 106 'lightweight' single-speed twin displaced 50ci (820cc) and was rated at 5/7hp. A clutch, magneto ignition, chain final drive, folding footrests, spring fork and a tool kit were standard features, while an Eclipse two-speed rear hub was a $25 extra. Later on the Model 106 was made in two versions: Single Speed and Three Speed, priced at $250 and $275 respectively (in 1920) and the Model 106 could also be ordered with a sidecar, acetylene lighting, speedometer and 'tandem' (pillion) attachment at extra cost. The company's final offering, the Model 106 would be produced for longer than any other Emblem motorcycle, enduring until the factory ceased production in 1925.
This Emblem twin comes with a history file documenting its ownership in Sweden from the mid-1920s into the 1930s. It appears to have been bought from Ford dealer Ragnar Carlsson of Enköping on 31st January 1925 by one Elias Eriksson, described as a 'machinist'. There is a period black-and-white photograph on file showing the Emblem and its owner, and another (colour) image taken after WW2 showing the machine 'as found' and in need of restoration. Subsequently restored, this beautiful Emblem offers the discriminating collector the opportunity to acquire a very rare early American motorcycle. An Emblem brochure dating from 1920 is included in the sale.